Chattanooga boy diagnosed with mysterious paralyzing condition
Cases of a mysterious paralyzing condition appear to be rising among kids across the country.
The Centers for Disease Control has confirmed 38 cases in 16 states.
The illness called Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) causes various forms of paralysis and appears to be linked to a virus similar to Polio. There is no vaccine for the virus linked to AFM.
One case was confirmed right here in Chattanooga. Last month, six-year-old Spencer Hill was diagnosed with AFM. He has been in a children's hospital in Atlanta for the last week.
Spencer's mom Serena Hill tells Channel 3, he is doing much better and they hope to be home in Chattanooga soon.
At first, Spencer's symptoms started out as a common cold, but then things took a turn. He was having trouble walking and moving his arms.
Hill was stunned to learn that Spencer is one of very few children across the country with AFM.
The CDC reports just 361 other cases since August 2014. Serena said watching her son go through this has been a terrifying experience.
“You see your child who likes to run and play. All of a sudden, 'mommy I can't zip my pants. I can't write.' Then you see him fall and his legs give out. It is absolutely terrifying,” said Hill.
Spencer received intense steroid infusions to help stop the spread of paralysis. He has spent the last three weeks working on his fine motor skills. He still has very little movement in his fingers, but intense therapy is helping.
Serena said they are optimistic that Spencer will make a full recovery.
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